Peter an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers that dwell here and there throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God ye Father unto sanctification of the Spirit, through obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you.
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance immortal and undefiled, and that withereth not, reserved in heaven for us, which are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, which is prepared to be shewed in the last time. Wherein ye rejoice, though now for a season (if need require) ye are in heaviness, through manifold temptations, that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth (though it be tried with fire) might be found unto your praise, and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom ye have not seen, and yet love him, in whom now, though ye see him not, yet do you believe, and rejoice with joy unspeakable and glorious, receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of the which salvation the Prophets have inquired and searched, which prophesied of the grace that should come unto you, searching when or what time the Spirit which testified before of Christ which was in them, should declare the sufferings that should come unto Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they should minister the things, which are now shewed unto you by them which have preached unto you the Gospel by the holy Ghost sent down from heaven, the which things the Angels desire to behold. Wherefore, gird up the loins of your mind: be sober, and trust perfectly on that grace that is brought unto you, in the revelation of Jesus Christ, as obedient children, not fashioning your selves unto the former lusts of your ignorance: But as he which hath called you, is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy. And if ye call him Father, which without respect of person judgeth according to every mans work, pass the time of your dwelling here in fear, knowing that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation, received by the traditions of the fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb undefiled, and without spot. Which was ordained before the foundation of the world, but was declared in the last times for your sakes, which by his means do believe in God that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God, having purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit, to love brotherly without feigning, love one another with a pure heart fervently, being born anew, not of mortal seed, but of immortal, by the word of God, who liveth and endureth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man is as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower falleth away. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever: and this is the word which is preached among you. Wherefore, laying aside all maliciousness, and all guile, and dissimulation, and envy, and all evil speaking, as new born babes desire that sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby, because ye have tasted that the Lord is bountiful. To whom coming as unto a living stone disallowed of men, but chosen of God and precious, ye also as lively stones, be made a spiritual house, an holy Priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I put in Sion a chief corner stone, elect and precious: and he that believeth therein shall not be ashamed. Unto you therefore which believe, it is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone to stumble at, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient, unto the which thing they were even ordained. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal Priesthood, an holy nation, a people set at liberty, that ye should shew forth the virtues of him that hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, which in time past were not a people, yet are now the people of God: which in time past were not under mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which fight against the soul, and have your conversation honest among the Gentiles, that they which speak evil of you as of evil doers, may by your good works which they shall see, glorify God in the day of visitation. Therefore submit your selves unto all manner ordinance of man for the Lords sake, whether it be unto the King, as unto the superior, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent of him, for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that by well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of the foolish men, as free, and not as having the liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honor all men: love brotherly fellowship: fear God: honor the King. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and courteous, but also to the froward. For this is thank worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what praise is it, if when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye take it patiently? but and if when ye do well, ye suffer wrong and take it patiently, this is acceptable to God. For hereunto ye are called: for Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an ensample that ye should follow his steps. Who did no sin, neither was there guile found in his mouth. Who when he was reviled, reviled not again: when he suffered, he threatened not, but committed it to him that judgeth righteously. Who his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree that we being dead to sin, should live in righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray: but are now returned unto the shepherd and Bishop of your souls. Likewise let the wives be subject to their husbands, that even they which obey not the word, may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives, while they behold your pure conversation, which is with fear. Whose appareling, let it not be that outward, with broided hair, and gold put about, or in putting on of apparel: but let it be the hidden man of the heart, which consisteth in the incorruption of a meek and quiet spirit, which is before God a thing much set by. For even after this manner in time past did the holy women, which trusted in God, tire them selves, and were subject to their husbands. As Sara obeyed Abraham, and called him Sir: whose daughters ye are, while ye do well, not being afraid of any terror. Likewise ye husbands, dwell with them as men of knowledge, giving honor unto the woman, as unto the weaker vessel, even as they which are heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not interrupted. Finally, be ye all of one mind: one suffer with another: love as brethren: be pitiful: be courteous, not rendering evil for evil, neither rebuke for rebuke: but contrariwise bless, knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should be heirs of blessing. For if any man long after life, and to see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Let him eschew evil, and do good: let him seek peace, and follow after it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, & his ears are open unto their prayers: and the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is it that will harm you, if ye follow that which is good? Notwithstanding blessed are ye, if ye suffer for righteousness sake. Yea, fear not their fear, neither be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and reverence, having a good conscience, that when they speak evil of you as of evil doers, they may be ashamed, which slander your good conversation in Christ. For it is better (if the will of God be so) that ye suffer for well doing, then for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, and was put to death concerning the flesh, but was quickened by the spirit. By the which he also went, and preached unto the spirits that are in prison. Which were in time passed disobedient, when once the long suffering of God abode in the days of Noah, while the Ark was preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved in the water. Whereof the baptism that now is, answering that figure, (which is not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but a confident demanding which a good conscience maketh to God) saveth us also by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is at the right hand of God, gone into heaven, to whom the Angels, and Powers, and might are subject. Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm your selves likewise with the same mind, which is, that he which hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sin, that he hence forward should live (as much time as remaineth in the flesh) not after the lusts of men, but after the will of God. For it is sufficient for us that we have spent the time past of the life, after the lust of the Gentiles, walking in wantonness, lusts, drunkenness, in gluttony, drinking’s, & in abominable idolatries. Wherein it seemeth to them strange, that ye run not with them unto the same excess of riot: therefore speak they evil of you, which shall give accounts to him, that is ready to judge quick and dead. For unto this purpose was the Gospel preached also unto the dead, that they might be condemned, according to men in the flesh, but might live according to God in the spirit. Now the end of all things is at hand. Be ye therefore sober, and watching in prayer. But above all things have fervent love among you: for love shall cover the multitude of sins. Be ye barbarous one to another, without grudging. Let every man as he hath received the gift, minister the same one to another, as good disposers of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the words of God. If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God ministereth, that God in al things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom is praise and dominion forever, and ever, Amen.
Dearly beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial, which is among you to prove you, as though some strange thing were come unto you: but rejoice, in as much as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, that when his glory shall appear, ye may be glad and rejoice. If ye be railed upon for the Name of Christ, blessed are ye: for the spirit of glory, and of God resteth upon you: which on their part is evil spoken of: but on your part is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or an evil doer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. But if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed: but let him glorify God in this behalf. For the time is come, that judgment must begin at the house of God. If it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them which obey not the Gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. The elders which are among you, I beseech which am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed, feed the flock of God, which dependeth upon you, caring for it not by constraint, but willingly: not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind: not as though ye were lords over Gods heritage, but that ye may be ensamples to the flock. And when that chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive an incorruptible crown of glory. Likewise ye younger, submit your selves unto the elders, & submit your selves every man, one to another: deck your selves inwardly in lowliness of mind: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble your selves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your care on him: for he careth for you. Be sober, and watch: for your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren which are in the world. And the God of all grace, which hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a little, make you perfect, confirm, strengthen and stablish you. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen.
By Sylvanus a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, have I written briefly, exhorting and testifying how that this is the true grace of God, wherein ye stand. The Church that is at Babylon elected together with you saluteth you, and Marcus my son. Greet ye one another with the kiss of love. Peace be with you all which are in Christ Jesus, Amen.
1587 Geneva bible in paragraph format and modernized spelling.